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Miraculous Stories of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and of Her Intercession
From St Alphonsus De Liguori, The Glories of Mary,
Arranged and edited by Br. Sean, a choir monk, 2009 
from an etext at
(page numbers as in book)


[679] Some persons, boasting of being free from 
prejudices, take great credit to themselves for 
believing no miracles but those recorded in the 
holy Scriptures, esteeming all others as tales 
and fables for foolish women. But it will be 
well to repeat here a just remark of the learned 
and pious Father John Crasset, who says that 
the bad are as ready to deride miracles as the 
good are to believe them; adding, that as it is 
a weakness to give credit to all things, so, on the 
other hand, to reject miracles which come to us 
attested by serious and pious men, either savors 
of infidelity, which supposes them impossible to 
God, or of presumption, which refuses belief to 
such a class of authors. We give credit to a Tac- 
itus and a Suetonius, and can we deny it with 
out presumption to Christian authors of learning 
and upright life? There is less risk, says Father 
Canisius, in believing and receiving what is re- 
lated with some probability by honest persons, 
and not rejected by the learned, and which 
serves for the edification of our neighbor, than in 
rejecting it with a disdainful and presumptuous 

1ST EXAMPLE. A certain man in Germany had
[680] committed a great sin, and was ashamed 
to confess it, yet on the other hand he could not 
endure the remorse which he felt, and went to 
cast himself into the river; but just as he was on 
the point of doing so, he stopped, and bursting 
into tears, prayed God to pardon him without 
confession. One night in his sleep he felt some- 
one waking him, and heard a voice saying: "Go 
and make your confession." He went to the 
church, but yet did not make his confession. 
He heard the same voice a second night; again 
he went to the church, but after he had entered 
it, said that he would rather die than confess 
that sin. He was about to return home, when 
he yought he would go and recommend himself 
to the most holy Mary, before her image which 
was in the church. He had hardly kneeled be- 
fore it, when he felt himself entirely changed. 
He immediately arose, called for a confessor, 
and weeping bitterly, through grace received 
from the Virgin, made a sincere confession; and 
he afterwards said that he felt greater satisfac- 
tion than if he had gained all the gold in the 

2. A young nobleman was reading one day, 
while at sea, an obscene book, in which he took 
great pleasure. A religious said to him: "Now 
come, would you give something to our Lady?" 
"Yes," he answered; and the other said, "I wish 
that, for love of the holy Virgin, you would tear 
that book in pieces and cast it into the sea." 
"Here it is, Father," said the young man. "No," 
[681] said the religious, "I wish that you yourself 
would make this offering to Mary." He did so, 
and when he returned to Genoa, his native place, 
the mother of God so inflamed his heart with 
the love of God that he became a religious. 

3. A hermit of Mount Olivet had in his cell 
a holy image of Mary, and frequently offered 
up prayers before it. The devil could not en- 
dure such devotion to the holy Virgin, and tor- 
mented him continually with temptations against 
purity; and the poor old hermit finding him- 
self still pursued by them, notwithstanding all 
his prayers and mortifications, said one day to 
the enemy: "What have I done to you, that you 
will not leave me in peace?" And the demon 
appeared to him and answered: "You torment 
me more than I torment you;" and then he added: 
"Now come, and swear secrecy to me, and I will 
tell you what you must cease to do, if you wish 
me not to molest you any more." The hermit 
took the oath, and then the devil said to him: 
"I wish you never again to approach that image 
that you have in your cell." The hermit was 
greatly perplexed, and went to take counsel of 
the Abbot Theodore, who told him that he was 
not bound by his oath, and that he must not 
cease to recommend himself to Mary before 
that image, as he had done before. The hermit 
obeyed, and the devil was put to shame and 

4. A woman who had been guilty of a crim- 
inal connection with two young men, one of 
[682] whom had killed the other, came one day 
in great terror to Father Onefrio d'Anna, a pious 
missionary in the kingdom of Naples, to make 
her confession. She told the Father that in the 
same hour in which that wretched youth had 
died, he appeared to her, clothed in black, load- 
ed with chains, and cast fire on every side. He 
had a sword in his hand, and raised it to cut her 
throat. In terror she exclaimed: "What have I 
done to you, that you wish to kill me?" And in 
a rage he answered: "Wretch, do you ask what 
you have done to me? You have caused me to 
lose God." Then she invoked the blessed Virgin; 
and that damned soul, on hearing the most holy 
name of Mary pronounced, disappeared and 
was seen no more. 

5. When St. Dominic was preaching at 
Carcassone, in France, an Albigensian heretic, 
who was possessed by demons, was brought to 
him, because he had publicly spoken against the 
devotion of the most holy Rosary. The saint 
then ordered the demons, in the name of God, 
to declare whether those things which he had 
said concerning the most holy Rosary were true; 
and howling with rage they said: "Hear, oh 
Christians, all that this our enemy has said of 
Mary and of the most holy Rosary is entirely 
true." They added, moreover, that they had 
no power against the servants of Mary; and 
that many who at death invoked Mary were 
saved, contrary to what they deseved. And fin-
ally they said: "We are constrained to declare, 
that [683] no one is lost who perseveres in de-
votion to Mary, and in the devotion of the most 
holy Rosary, for Mary obtains for sinners a true 
repentance before death. St. Dominic made 
the people immediately repeat the Rosary; and, 
oh miracle! at every "Hail Mary," many devils 
went out from that wretched man, in the shape 
of burning coals, so that when the Rosary was 
finished, he was entirely freed from them, and 
many heretics became converted. 

6. The daughter of a certain prince had en-
tered a monastery, where the discipline was so 
relaxed, that, although she was a young person 
of good dispositions, she advanced but little in 
virtue. By the advice of a good confessor, she 
began to say the Rosary with the mysteries, and 
became so changed that she was an example to 
all. The other religious, taking offence at her 
for withdrawing from them, attacked her on all 
sides, to induce her to abandon her newly-begun 
way of life. One day while she was repeating 
the Rosary, and praying Mary to assist her in that 
persecution, she saw a letter fall from above. 
On the outside were written these words: "Mary, 
mother of God, to her daughter Jane, greeting;" 
and within : "My dear child, continue to say my 
Rosary ; withdraw from conversation with those 
who do not help you to live well ; beware of idle- 
ness and vanity ; take from your cell two super-
fluous things, and I will be your protectress with 
God." The abbot of that monastery soon after 
visited it, and attempted to reform it, but he did 
[684] not succeed ; and one day he saw a great 
number of demons entering the cells of all the nuns 
except that of Jane, for the heavenly mother, before 
whose image he saw her praying, banished them 
from that. When he heard from her of the devotion 
of the Rosary which she practiced, and the letter 
she had received, he ordered all the others to 
repeat it, and it is related that this monastery 
became a paradise. 

7. There lived in Rome a woman, called 
Catherine the beautiful, who led a very sinful 
life. Hearing St. Dominic once preach on the 
devotion of the most holy Rosary, she had her 
name inscribed in the book of the confraternity, 
and began to recite it, but did not abandon her sin- 
ful life. One evening a youth, apparently a noble, 
came to her house, whom she received cour- 
teously. When they were at supper, she saw 
drops of blood falling from his hands while he 
was breaking a peace of bread, and then she ob- 
served that all the food he took was tinged with 
blood. She asked him what that blood meant? 
And the youth answered, that a Christian should 
take no food that was not tinged with the blood 
of Jesus Christ, seasoned with the memory of his 
passion. Amazed at this, she asked him who he 
was. "Soon," he answered, " I will show you"; 
and when they had withdrawn into another 
apartment, the appearance of the youth changed, 
and he showed himself crowned with thorns, his 
flesh torn, and said to her: Do you wish to know 
who I am? Do you not know me? I am your Re-
[685] deemer. Catherine, when will you cease to 
offend me? See how much I have suffered for 
you. You have grieved me enough, change your 
life." Catherine began to weep bitterly, and 
Jesus, encouraging her, said: "Now begin to 
love me as much as you have offended me; and 
know that you have received this grace from me, 
on account of the Rosary you have been accus- 
tomed to recite in honor of my mother." And 
then he disappeared. Catherine went in the morn- 
ing to make her confession to St. Dominic; 
and giving to the poor all she possessed, led so 
holy a life that she attained to great perfection. 
The Virgin often appeared to her; and Jesus 
himself revealed to St. Dominic, that this pen- 
itent had become very dear to him. 

8. The blessed Alan de la Roche relates of a lady, 
named Dominica, who was accustomed to recite 
the Rosary, that she gave up this devotion, and 
afterwards became so poor, that in desperation 
she stabbed herself in three different places. 
But just as she was breathing her last, and the 
devils came to take her to hell, the most holy 
Mary appeared to her, and said to her: "My 
daughter, you have forgotten me, but I have 
not been willing to forget you, on account of 
that Rosary which you have for a time recited 
in my honor. And now," she added, "if you 
will continue to recite it, I will restore life to 
you, and also the possessions you have lost." 
Dominica was restored to health, and continuing 
the practice of reciting the Rosary, recovered 
[686] her possessions, and at her death was again 
visited by Mary, who commended her fidelity, 
and she died a holy death. 

9. There lived in Saragossa a certain noble, 
a very bad man; his name was Peter, and he was 
a relation of St. Dominic. One day when the 
saint was preaching, he saw Peter enter the 
church, and he prayed the Lord that he would 
make known to the audience the condition of 
that miserable sinner. And, behold, Peter then 
appeared like a monster from hell, surrounded 
and dragged along by many devils. The con- 
gregation fled, even his wife who was in the 
church, and the servants who accompanied him. 
Then St. Dominic directed him, through one of 
his companions, to recommend himself to Mary, 
and to begin to recite the Rosary which he sent 
him. Peter received the message, humbled him- 
self, sent to thank the saint, and received him- 
self the grace to see the demons that surround 
ed him. He afterwards went to make his con- 
fession to the saint himself, from whom he re- 
ceived the assurance that he was already par-
doned, and continuing to recite the Rosary, he 
attained to so happy a state that one day the 
Lord made him appear in church, in the presence 
of the whole congregation crowned with three 
crowns of roses. 

10. In the mountains of Trent lived a notorious
[687] robber, who, when he was one day admon- 
ished by a religious to change his course of life, 
answered, that for him there was no remedy. 
"Do not say so," said the religious ; "do what I 
tell you ; fast on Saturday in honor of Mary, and 
on that day do no harm to any one, and she will 
obtain for you the grace of not dying under the 
displeasure of God." The obedient robber fol- 
lowed this advice, and made a vow to continue 
to do so. That he might not break it, he from 
that time went unarmed on Saturdays. It hap- 
pened that on a Saturday he was found by the 
officers of justice, and that he might not break 
his oath, he allowed himself to be taken with- 
out resistance. The judge, when he saw that 
he was a gray-haired old man, wished to pardon 
him ; but, through the grace of compunction 
which he had received from Mary, he said that 
he wished to die in punishment of his sins. 
He also made a public confession of all the sins 
of his life in that same judgment-hall, weeping 
so bitterly that all present wept with him. He 
was beheaded, and buried with but little cere- 
mony, in a grave dug nearby. But afterwards 
the mother of God appeared, with four holy vir- 
gins, who took the dead body from that place, 
wrapped it in a rich cloth embroidered with 
gold, and bore it themselves to the gate of the 
city; there the blessed Virgin said to the guards: 
"Tell the bishop from me, to give an honorable 
burial, in such a church, to this dead person, 
for he was my faithful servant." And this was 
[688] done. All the people of the place thronged 
to the spot, where they found the corpse with the 
rich pall, and the bier on which it was placed. 
And from that time, says Cesarius, all persons in 
that region began to fast on Saturdays.

11. A devout servant of Mary, who lived in 
Portugal, fasted on bread and water every 
Saturday of his life, in honor of Mary, and chose 
for his advocates with the blessed Virgin, St. 
Michael and St. John the Evangelist. At the 
hour of his death the queen of heaven appeared 
to him, with those saints, who were praying for 
him, and the holy Virgin, looking upon her ser- 
vant with a joyful countenance, said to those 
saints: "I will not depart from here without taking 
this soul with me." 

12. In one of our missions, after the sermon 
on Mary which it is our custom to preach, a 
very old man came to one of the Fathers of our 
congregation, to make his confession. He was 
full of consolation, and said : "Our Lady has 
done me a favor." "And what favor has she 
done you?" asked the confessor. "For thirty-five 
years, Father, I have made sacrilegious confes- 
sions, because I was ashamed of one sin, and yet 
I have passed through many dangers, and have 
been several times at the point of death, and if 
I had died then I certainly would have been 
lost; and now our Lady has done me the favor 
to touch my heart;" and when he said this he 
wept so bitterly, that he seemed to be all tender- 
ness. After the Father had heard his confesion, 
[689] he asked him what devotion he had practic- 
ed, and he answered that he had never failed on 
Saturday to keep a strict fast in honor of Mary, 
and therefore the Virgin had taken pity on him, 
aud he gave the Father permission to publish 
the fact in his sermons. 

13. In the country of Normandy a certain 
robber was beheaded, and his head was thrown 
into a trench; but afterwards it was heard cry- 
ing: "Mary, give me confession." A priest went 
to him and heard his confession; and question- 
ing him as to his practices of devotion, the rob- 
ber answered that he had no other except that 
of fasting one day of the week in honor of the 
holy Virgin, and that for this our Lady had ob- 
tained for him the grace to be delivered from 
hell by that confession. 

14. There were two young noblemen living 
in the city of Madrid who encouraged each 
other in their sinful life. One of them saw one 
night, in a dream, his companion seized by some 
Moors and carried to the shore of a stormy sea. 
They were about to do the same with him, but 
he had recourse to Mary, and made a vow that 
he would become a religious at once, and thus 
he was rescued from these Moors; then he saw 
Jesus seated on a throne, and as if in anger, and 
the holy Virgin supplicating and obtaining 
mercy for him. When his friend came to visit 
him he related to him the vision, but he laughed 
at it; and shortly after was stabbed with a dag-
ger and died. When the other youth saw the 
[690] vision verified he made his confession, and 
was strengthened in his resolution of becoming 
a religious. In view of that, he sold all that he 
had, but instead of giving the money to the 
poor, as he had intended, he spent it all in 
debauchery. He afterwards fell ill, and had 
another vision; he yought he saw hell opened 
and the divine Judge in the act of condemning 
him. Again he had recourse to Mary, and 
Mary again delivered him. He was restored to 
health and led a worse life than before. He 
went to Lima, in South America, where he fell 
ill, and in the hospital of that place was again 
touched by the grace of God. He confessed to 
Father Francis Perlino, a Jesuit, to whom he 
promised to change his life, but went back to 
his evil courses. At length the same Father, 
visiting one day another hospital in a distant 
place, saw that wretched man extended on the 
earth, and heard him exclaim: "Ah, I am lost; 
and for my greater torment this Father has 
come here to witness my punishment. I came 
here from Lima, and am brought to this end by 
my vices, and now I am going to hell." With 
these words on his lips he died, before the 
Father had time to give him any assistance. 

15. There was once in Germany a certain 
criminal condemned to death; but he was ob- 
stinate and refused to make his confession, 
yough a Jesuit father did his utmost to con- 
vert him. He entreated him, he wept, he cast 
himself at his feet; but seeing that all was in 
[691] vain, he finally said: "Let us recite a Hail 
Mary." No sooner had the criminal recited it 
than he began to cry bitterly, made his con- 
fession with much compunction, and wished 
to die clasping the image of Mary.1 

16. In a city of Spain there lived a sinful man 
who had given himself to the devil, and had nev- 
er been to confession. He did nothing good 
but say a "Hail Mary" every day. Father Eu- 
sebius Nierembergh relates that when this man 
was at the point of death the most holy Virgin 
appeared to him in a dream and looked on him; 
her kind eyes so changed him that he immediate- 
ly sent for a confessor, made his confession 
with a voice broken by sobs, made a vow to be- 
come a religious if he should live, and then died. 

17. A devout servant of Mary always inculcated 
it upon her daughter that she should often re-
cite the "Hail Mary," especially when she was 
in any danger. One day when this girl was rest- 
ing after a ball, she was attacked by a demon, 
who in a visible form, bore her off with him. 
He had already seized her, but she began 
"Hail Mary," and the enemy disappeared.

18. A woman of Cologne who had criminal 
intercourse with an ecclesiastic, found him one 
day hanging in her room dead. After this she 
entered into a monastery, where the devil assail- 
ed her in a bodily form, so that she knew not 
what to do in order to be delivered from him. 
A companion suggested to her to say the "Hail 
[692] Mary;" and when she did so the demon said: 
"Accursed may she be who has taught you this," 
and appeared no more. 

19. A certain baron who led a very sinful life 
was accidentally visited in his castle by a re- 
ligious, who, enlightened by God, begged him 
to assemble together all his servants. They all 
came except the chamberlain. He at last was 
forced to come in, and the Father said to him: 
"Now, I command you in the name of Jesus 
Christ to tell who you are." And he answered: 
"I am a devil from hell, who for fourteen years 
have served this villain, waiting until some day 
he should omit those seven "Hail Marys" which 
he is in the habit of reciting, that I might then 
strangle him and take him to the flames of hell." 
The religious then commanded the devil to de- 
part. He obeyed, and disappeared. The baron 
then threw himself at his feet, was converted, 
and led a holy life.2 

20. The blessed Francis Patrizii, who greatly 
loved the devotion of the "Hail Marys," recited 
five hundred every day. Mary made known to 
him the hour of his death. He died as a saint; and 
after forty years a most beautiful lily sprung 
from his mouth, which was then transported 
into France, and on the leaves of it was written 
the "Hail Mary," in letters of gold. 

21. Cesarius relates that a Cistercian lay- 
brother could say no other prayer but the" Hail 
[698] Mary," and recited it continually with the 
greatest devotion. After his death there sprung up 
from the place where he was buried a tree, on 
whose leaves were written these words: Hail 
Mary, full of grace: "Ave Maria, gratia plena." 

22. Three devout virgins, by the advice of 
their confessor, recited one year, for forty days, 
the whole Rosary, as a preparation for the feast 
of the purification of Mary. On the vigil the heav-
enly mother appeared to the first of these three 
sisters with a rich garment, embroidered with 
gold, thanked her, and blessed her. Then she ap- 
peared to the second with a simple garment, and 
also thanked her. But she said to her: "Oh 
Lady, why have you brought my sister a richer 
garment?" "Because she has clothed me," 
said Mary, "more richly than you have done." 
She afterwards appeared to the third with a 
canvas garment, and she at once asked pardon 
for her tepidity in honoring her. The next 
year all three fervently prepared for the same 
feast, saying the Rosary with great devotion, 
when behold, on the evening preceding the 
festival, Mary appeared to them in glory, and 
said to them: "Be prepared, for tomorrow 
you shall come to paradise." And, in fact, the 
next day they went to church, related to the 
confessor what had occurred, and received com- 
munion in the morning. At the hour of compline
they saw again the most holy Virgin, who came 
to take them with her, and amid the songs of 
[694] angels, one after the other sweetly expired. 

23. Father Crasset relates that a certain 
military officer told him, that after a battle he 
found a soldier on the battle-ground who held 
in his hand a Rosary and the scapular of Mary, 
and asked for a confessor. His forehead had 
been pierced by a musket-ball, which had passed 
through the head and came out behind, so that 
the brain was visible and protruded through 
each opening, and he could not live without a 
miracle. He however raised himself, made his 
confession to the chaplain with great com- 
punction, and after receiving absolution, expired. 

24. The same author adds that this very 
captain told him of being present when a trum- 
peter of his company received a pistol-shot from 
some one near, and when he examined his breast 
where he said that he had been hit, he found 
that the ball had been stopped by the scapular 
of the Virgin, which the man wore, and that it 
had not even touched the flesh. He took it and 
exhibited it to the whole company. 

25. A noble youth, named Eschylus, being 
sent by the prince, his father, to Hildesheim, a 
city of Saxony, to study, abandoned himself to 
a dissolute life. He fell ill, and was near dying, 
and while in that state he had a vision. He saw 
himself shut up in a furnace of fire, and believed 
himself to be already in hell; and then he escap- 
ed from it through a hole and took refuge in a 
great place, where he found the most holy Mary 
[695] in the hall, and she said to him: "Rash man, 
do you dare to appear before me? Depart 
from here and go to the flames which you 
merit." The young man besought the Virgin 
to have mercy on him, and then turned to some 
persons who were near, and implored them to 
recommend him to Mary. They did so, and 
the heavenly mother answered: "You do not know 
the sinful life he has led, and that he had not 
even yought of saying a Hail Mary in my 
honor." But his advocates answered: "Oh 
Lady, he will change his life;" and the youth 
added: "Yes, I promise really to amend, and 
I will be your servant." Then the Virgin's anger 
was appeased, and she said to him: "Well, I ac- 
cept your promise, be faithful to me, and mean- 
while with my blessing, be delivered from hell 
and death." When she had said this, the Virgin 
disappeared. Eschylus came to himself, and 
blessing Mary, related to others the grace he 
had received. He led ever after a holy life, 
always preserving a great affection towards the 
blessed Virgin, and was made Archbishop of 
the Church of Lude, in Denmark, where he con- 
verted many to the faith. Towards the close 
of his life, being old, he resigned the arch- 
bishopric and became a monk of Clairvaux, 
where he lived four years, and died a holy death. 
Hence he has been numbered by some writers 
among the saints of the Cistercian order. 

26. A member of the brothers of the con- 
fraternity of Mary was invited one morning by 
[696] a friend to dine with him. He promised to go 
but went first to the meeting of the confraternity, 
and after that he forgot his promise. His friend 
was so much offended by this, that one day when 
he met him he attempted to kill him; but, by a 
just judgment of God, he killed himself. His 
friend was immediately taken before the court, 
found guilty of the murder, and was condemned 
to death. He recommended himself to the Vir- 
gin, and, inspired by her, begged to be led into 
the presence of the dead body, and then asked 
him how he had died. He confessed that he died 
by his own hands, and his friend was set at 

27. In the year 1604, at Dola, a member of the 
same confraternity was very ill. On a feast-day 
he said to himself: "At this hour my brothers 
are assembled and occupied in praising Mary, 
and am I here"? He rose from his bed and went 
to the assembly, when suddenly the fever left 
him, and he was restored to health.  

28. A fisherman, belonging to the same con- 
fraternity in Naples, had been ill for several 
days through the severe discipline he had prac- 
tised in the meeting of the confraternity. Being 
somewhat better, as he was poor and had a 
family, he returned to his fishing, saying to the 
most holy Virgin: "Oh, my Lady, for you I have 
suffered this evil, do help me;" and our blessed 
Lady allowed him to take as many fish as he 
would have taken in all the time he had lost. 

[697] 29. Another member was going to be im-
prisoned for debt; he recommended himself to 
Mary, and the most holy Virgin inspired his 
creditors to release him from his debt, and so 
they did. 

30. A young man who had been a member of 
the confraternity of the Virgin, left it, and 
abandoned himself to a dissolute life. One night 
the devil appeared to him in a frightful form. 
He began to invoke the blessed Virgin. "In 
vain," said his enemy to him, "do you invoke 
her whom you have abandoned; your sins have 
made you mine." The youth in terror fell on 
his knees, and began to recite the formula of the 
brothers: "Oh most holy Virgin mother," etc. 
Then the mother of God appeared to him, at 
whose presence the demon fled, leaving behind 
him a great stench, and an opening in the wall. 
And Mary then turned to the youth, and said: 
"You did not merit my help, but I wish to 
take pity on you, that you may change, and 
return to the confraternity." 

31. In Braganza there lived another youth 
who left the confraternity and abandoned him- 
self to such vicious ways, that one day in de- 
spair he was going to throw himself into a river. 
But first he turned to our Lady and said: "Oh 
Mary, I have served you in the confraternity, 
will you help me?" The most holy Virgin ap- 
peared to him and said: "What are you doing? 
Do you wish to destroy both soul and body ? 
Go, make your confession, and return to the con- 
[698] fraternity." The youth, encouraged by this, 
thanked the Virgin, and amended his life. 

32. There was once a religious in Spain, who 
in a fit of passion killed his superior. After 
committing this crime he fled into Barbary, 
where he renounced his faith and married, lead- 
ing afterwards so bad a life that he did nothing 
good but say a "Hail, Holy Queen," daily. One 
day, being alone, he repeated this devotion, and 
behold Mary appeared to him, rebuked him, and 
encouraged him to amend his life, promising 
him her assistance. He then returned to his 
house, and was so sorrowful that his wife 
questioned him as to the cause, and he in tears 
told her his condition, and the vision he had 
seen. She took compassion on him, gave him 
money to enable him to return to his own 
country, and also consented that he should take 
one of their children with him. He returned to 
the monastery, where he shed so many tears of 
compunction that he was again received, to 
gether with his son. He persevered in his holy 
life, and died with the reputation of a saint. 

33. A pupil had been instructed by his master 
to salute the most holy Virgin in these words: 
"Hail, oh mother of mercy." When he was at 
the point of death Mary appeared to him, and 
said: "My son, do you not know me? I am 
that mother of mercy whom you have saluted so 
many times." Then this servant of the Virgin 
extended his arms as if to follow her, and gently 
breathed his last. 

[699] 34. There was once a sinner who was so 
abandoned, that he practiced no other devotion 
than that of reciting daily "To your patronage...," 
"Sub tuum presidium...." The Virgin one day 
so greatly enlightened him, that he abandoned 
his sins, entered religion, led for fifty years an 
exemplary life, and thus died. 

35. In the year 1610, there lived in Turin an 
obstinate heretic, who even on his death-bed 
would not be converted by all that was said to 
him by the various priests who were with him 
for eight successive days. At length one of them, 
almost by force, brought him to have recourse to 
Mary, with these words: Mother of Jesus, help 
me: "Mater Jesu, assiste mihi." And the heretic, 
as if awakened from sleep, exclaimed, "I will die 
a Catholic;" and indeed he became reconciled to 
the Church, and died in two hours. 

36. Another infidel, who was living in India, 
was about to die, abandoned by all, but as he had 
heard the Christians so much extol the power of 
Mary, he had recourse to her, and the blessed 
Virgin appeared to him, and said: "Behold I 
am she whom you invoke; become a Christian." 
He was immediately restored to health, and bap- 
tized, and many were converted by the prodigy. 

37. There lived in Madrid, in the year 1610, a 
very devout servant of Mary, who had a special 
devotion to an image of her called "Mary of 
Antioch." He married a woman, who through 
suspicion and jealousy left him no rest. Every 
[700] Saturday he went barefoot, and early in the 
morning, to visit that image; but his wife, who 
suspected him of going elsewhere, once in par- 
ticular, attacked him so violently, that blinded by 
impatience, he took a rope and hung himself. 
But just as his soul was departing, when he 
could no more help himself, he invoked the help 
of Mary; and behold a most beautiful lady ap- 
peared, who approached him and cut the rope. 
The people without saw this, and then he narra- 
ted the fact. By this the wife was so filled with 
compunction, that ever afterwards they lived in 
peace, and devoted to the heavenly mother. 

38. Another person, of Valentia, in 1613, com-
mitted a great crime, which he was ashamed 
to confess, and therefore made sacrilegious con- 
fessions. But, being troubled with great remorse 
of conscience, he went one day to visit the altar 
of Our Lady of Halle, that he might obtain re- 
lief. When he arrived at the door of the church, 
which stood open, he felt himself thrust back by 
an invisible power. Then he determined to make 
his confession, and immediately entered. After 
making a general confession, he went home 
entirely consoled.  

39. The blessed Adam, a Cistercian, went one 
evening to visit an altar of the most blessed Vir- 
gin in a church; but finding the doors closed, he 
knelt outside to make his devotions. He was 
hardly on his knees when he saw the door open- 
ing of itself, and he entered. There he beheld the
[701] Queen of Heaven, in the midst of great splen- 
dor, and she said to him: "Adam, approach; do 
you know who I am?" Adam answered: "No, 
Lady; who are you?" "I am," she said, "the 
mother of God. Know, that as a reward for your 
devotion to me, I will always take care of you." 
And then she placed her blessed hand upon his 
head, and cured him of the great pain he was 
suffering there. 

40. A servant of Mary went one day to visit 
a church of our blessed Lady, without the knowl- 
edge of her husband, and she was prevented by 
a severe storm from returning that night to her 
own house. She felt a great fear lest her hus- 
band should be very angry with her ; but she 
recommended herself to Mary, and when she re- 
turned home, her husband was very kind and 
gracious to her. Upon questioning him, she 
found that the evening before, the heavenly mother 
had taken her form, and attended to all the little 
affairs of the household like a servant. She then 
related the occurrence to her husband, and they 
both afterwards practiced great devotion to the 
blessed Virgin.  

41. A certain cavalier, of the city of Doul, in 
France, named Ansaldo, received in the battle 
a wound from an arrow, which entered so deep 
into the jaw-bone, that it was not possible to 
extract the iron. After four years of suffering, 
the afflicted man could endure the pain no long 
er, and being besides very ill, he thought he 
would again try to have the iron extracted. He 
[702] recommended himself to the blessed Virgin, 
and made a vow to visit every year a sacred image 
of her which was in that place, and make an 
offering of a certain sum of money upon her altar 
if she granted this request. He had no sooner 
made the vow than the iron, without being 
touched, fell into his mouth. The next day, ill 
as he was, he went to visit the image, and scar-
cely had he placed the promised gift upon the 
altar, when he felt himself entirely restored to 

42. There was once a Spaniard who held sin- 
ful intercourse with a relative. A devout vir- 
gin, while she was at prayer, saw Jesus on his 
throne, who was on the point of sending that 
criminal to hell; but his holy mother obtained 
thirty days grace for him, because he once had 
honored her. By the command of the heavenly 
mother herself, his female companion told the 
whole to her confessor, who made it known to the 
young man, and he at once made his confession, 
with many tears and promises of amendment. 
But because he did not remove the temptation 
from him, he fell again into sin, went again to 
confession, again made a resolution, and again 
relapsed. As he did not go to see the Father 
again, the Father went to his house to find him, 
but was very rudely dismissed. The last of the 
thirty days had arrived, the Father went to the 
house again, but in vain ; he desired the servant, 
however, to give him notice if there was any ac- 
cident; and indeed at night that miserable sinner 
[703] was attacked with violent pains. The Father 
was called, and endeavored to relieve him, but 
the unhappy man exclaimed : "My heart has been 
pierced with a lance, and I am dying. Then 
giving a groan of despair, he expired. 

43. There lived once in Milan a man named 
Masaccio, so addicted to gambling, that one 
day he lost at play the very clothes he wore. In 
a violent rage at his loss, he took a knife and 
struck an image of the blessed Virgin, and blood 
burst forth from it into his face. He was so 
much moved that he burst into tears, and offer- 
ed thanks to the Virgin that she had obtained 
for him time for repentance. He afterwards 
entered a Cistercian monastery, and led such a 
holy life that he even received the gift of proph- 
ecy; after being forty years a religious, he died 
a holy death. 

44. A very sinful man, once kneeling in tears 
at the foot of the cross, prayed that he might re- 
ceive a sign of pardon. But when he found 
that his prayer was not granted, he turned to an 
image of the sorrowful Mary, who then appear- 
ed to him, and he saw her present his tears to 
her Son, saying: My Son, shall these tears be lost? 
"Fili, istae lacrymae peribunt?" And then he 
was given to understand that Christ had already 
pardoned him, and from that time be led a holy 

45. A man of advanced age, during one of our 
missions, after the usual sermon on the power- 
[704] ful intercession of Mary, which it is our cus- 
tom always to preach in the missions, came to 
make his confession to one of our Fathers, named 
Father Cesar Sportelli, who lately died in the 
fame of sanctity, and was found uncorrupted 
many months after his death. Kneeling at the 
feet of his confessor, he said: "Father, our Lady 
has had pity on me." "This is her office," an- 
wered the Father. "But you cannot give me 
absolution," said the other, "for I have never 
made my confession." And, in fact, although 
he was a Catholic, he had never made his con- 
fession. The Father encouraged him, heard 
his confession, and gave him absolution with 
great consolation. 

46. The blessed Bernard Tolomeo, founder of 
the Olivetan Fathers, who, from his childhood, 
had a great devotion to Mary, was one day great- 
ly tormented in his hermitage at Accona, called 
Mt. Olivet, with the fear that he would not be 
saved, and that God had not yet pardoned him; 
but the heavenly mother appeared to him, and 
said: "What do you fear, my son? Take courage; 
God has already pardoned you, and is pleased 
with the life you lead; go on, and I will help 
and save you." The blessed religious contin- 
ued to lead a holy life till he died a happy death 
in the arms of Mary. 

47. There lived in Germany a young girl, call- 
ed Agnes, who had been guilty of incest in the 
first degree. She fled into a desert, and there 
gave birth to a child. The devil, in the form of
[705] a religious, appeared to her, and persuad-
ed her to throw the child into a pond. But after- 
wards, when he proposed to her to throw herself 
in also, she said: "Mary, help me," and the dev- 
il disappeared.1 

48. A soldier once made a compact with the 
devil, that he would sell his wife to him for a 
certain sum of money. He was taking her to a 
wood to fulfil his promise, when he passed be- 
fore a church dedicated to the Virgin. His wife 
begged him to allow her to pay her devotion to 
Mary in that church; but as she entered it, 
Mary came forth from it, and taking the form 
of the woman, accompanied the husband. When 
they reached the wood, the demon said to the 
man: "Traitor, why have you brought me, in 
stead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of 
God?" "And you," said Mary, "how have 
you dared to think of injuring my servant? 
Go, flee to hell." And then turning to the 
man, she said: "Amend your life, and I will aid 
you." She disappeared, and that wretched man 
repented, and amended his life. 

49. A very sinful woman who lived in Mes- 
sico, having fallen ill, repented of her life, and 
made a vow to Mary, that if she would restore 
her to health she would present her with her 
hair. She was cured, and she cut off her hair, 
making an offering of it to the statue of the 
Virgin. But the woman again fell into sin, 
again fell ill, and died impenitent. Then Mary
[706]  one day afterwards spoke from that statue 
to Father Giaramaria Salvaterra, and said: Take 
those locks from my head, for they belong to 
a lost and sinful soul, and are not befitting 
the head of the mother of purity. The Father 
obeyed her, and threw them himself instantly 
into the flames.1 

50. A Saracen, named Petran, made captive 
several Christians in Spain, who recommended 
themselves to the holy Virgin. Mary appeared 
to the Saracen, and said to him: "Petran, how 
dare you to hold my servants slaves? Release 
them immediately - obey." And the Moor an- 
swered: "Who are you whom I am to obey?" 
"I am," said she, "the mother of God; and 
because they have had recourse to me, I wish 
you to give them their liberty." Then the heart 
of Petran was changed, he set the Christians free, 
and presented himself to the Virgin. She first 
instructed him, and then she herself baptized 
him in a fountain, near which a church was built, 
and a Benedictine monastery. 

51. A certain canon, while he was repeating 
some devotions in honor of the heavenly mother, 
fell into the river Seine and was drowned, and 
being in mortal sin, the devils came to take him 
to hell. But Mary appeared at the same time, 
and said to them: "How have you dared to 
take possession of one who died praising me?" 
Then turning to the sinner, she said: "Repent, 
and be particularly devout to my Conception." 
[707] He was restored to life, became a religious, 
and never ceased to thank his deliverer, and every- 
where to propagate the devotion to her immac- 
ulate Conception. 

52. Whilst the monks of Clairvaux were 
reaping in the fields, and praising the queen of 
heaven, most holy Mary was seen caressing them, 
and two other saints wiping their sweat. 

53. The brother of the King of Hungary re- 
cited every day the office of Mary. Once when 
he was very ill, he made a vow of chastity to 
the Virgin, if she would restore him to health: 
and he immediately recovered. But his brother 
having died, he was about to be married, and 
just as the nuptials were to be celebrated, he 
retired apart to recite his accustomed office. 
When he came to the words: Thou art fair 
and comely, etc. : "Quam pulchra es et decora," 
etc., he saw Mary, who said to him: "If I am 
fair as you say, why do you leave me for another 
spouse? Know, that if you leave her, you shall 
have me for a spouse, and the kingdom of heaven 
instead of the kingdom of Hungary." After 
this the prince withdrew into a desert near 
Aquileia, where he lived a holy life. 

54. St. John Climacus relates that there was 
a devout religious, named Carcerio, who was 
accustomed often to repeat little songs in praise 
of Mary, and always saluted her images with a 
"Hail Mary." He was once afflicted with so 
painful a malady, that in the paroxysms of his 
[708] suffering he bit his lips and tongue. He lost 
his speech, and was at the point of death. While 
the religious were recommending his soul to 
God, the mother of God appeared to him and 
said: "I have come to cure you, for I do not 
wish that mouth should suffer with which you 
have so often praised me. Arise, you are healed, 
continue to praise me. Having said this, she 
sprinkled him with some drops of her milk, and 
immediately he was cured, and never ceased to 
praise her, until, visited again by his Lady at his 
death, he sweetly expired in her arms. 

55. When St. Francis Borgia was in Rome, 
an ecclesiastic came to speak with him; but the 
saint being much occupied, sent Father Acosta 
to him. The ecclesiastic said to him: "Father, 
I am a priest and a preacher, but I live in sin, 
and distrust the divine mercy. After preaching 
a sermon one day against the obstinate, who 
afterwards despair of pardon, a person came 
to me to make his confession, who narrated 
to me all my sins, and at length told me that he 
despaired of the divine mercy. In order to do 
my duty, I told him that he must change his 
life, and trust in God; then that penitent rose 
to his feet and reproached me, saying: And 
you, who preach thus to others, why do you 
not amend, and why do you distrust? Know, 
said he, that I am an angel come to your aid; 
amend and you will be pardoned. And when 
he had said this he disappeared. I abstained 
for several days from my sinful practices, but 
when [709]  temptation came I again returned 
to my sins. On another day, as I was celebrat-
ing Mass, Jesus Christ sensibly spoke to me 
from the host, and said: 'Why do you thus mal-
treat me, when I treat you so well?' After this I 
resolved to amend, but at the next temptation fell 
again into sin. A few hours ago, a youth came 
to me in my apartment, and drew from under 
his mantle a chalice, and from this a consecrated 
host, saying: 'Do you know this Lord whom I 
hold in my hand? Do you remember how 
many favors he has done you? Now behold 
the punishment of your ingratitude', and saying 
this he drew a sword to kill me. I then cried: 
'For the love of Mary do not kill me, for I will 
indeed amend'. And then he said: 'This was 
the only thing that could save you: make a good 
use of this grace, for this is the last mercy for 
you'. When he had said this he left me, and I 
came immediately here, praying you to receive 
me among you." Father Acosta consoled him, 
and the priest, by the advice also of St. Francis, 
entered another order of strict observance, 
where he persevered in holiness till his death. 

56. In the year 1228, while a priest was cel- 
ebrating Mass on a Saturday, in honor of the 
most holy Mary, some Albigensian heretics 
came and cruelly cut out his tongue. In this 
condition he went to the monastery of Cluny, 
where the good religious received him with much 
charity, greatly compassionating the suffering 
he endured from the loss of his tongue. But what
[710] caused the greatest suffering to this devout 
priest was that he could no longer say Mass and 
recite the divine office, and that of the blessed 
Virgin, as he had been accustomed to do. The 
feast of Epiphany having arrived, he begged to 
be carried into the church, and before the altar 
of the holy Virgin prayed her to restore the 
tongue which he had lost through love of her, 
that he might sing her praises as he did before. 
Then Mary appeared to him with a tongue in her 
hand, and said to him: "Since you have lost the 
tongue for the faith, and for the honor you 
have paid me, I give you in return a new one." 
Having said this, with her own hands she plac- 
ed the tongue in his mouth, and immediately 
the priest, raising his voice, recited the "Hail 
Mary." The religious quickly assembled, and 
the priest wished to remain with them, and to 
become himself a religious, that there he might 
always praise his benefactress. The mark of the 
scar was always seen on his tongue. 

57. It was in 589 that the famous plague pre- 
vailed in Rome, when men were attacked with 
sneezing, andfell down dead. St. Gregory the 
Great, when he was carrying in procession 
through the city an image belonging to the church 
of St. Mary Major, in the place now called the Cas- 
tle of St. Angelo, saw an angel in the air, who was 
replacing in its scabbard a sword dripping with 
blood. Then he heard the angels singing: Oh, 
Queen of heaven rejoice, Alleluia; for he whom 
you didst deserve to bear, Alleluia, is risen again, 
[711] as he said, Alleluia: "Regina coeli, laetare, 
Alleluia; quia querm meruisti portare, Alleluia; 
resurrexit, sicut dixit, Alleluia." And St. Gregory 
responded: "Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia." Im- 
mediately the plague ceased, and they then began 
to celebrate the greater Litanies every year on the 
25th of April. 

58. A city of France, called Avignon, was 
once besieged by enemies. The citizens prayed 
to Mary to defend them, and placed an image of 
her which they had taken from the church, at 
the gate of the city. One of the citizens having 
concealed himself behind the image, a soldier 
shot an arrow at him, saying: "This image shall 
not save you from death." But the image pre- 
sented her knee, and the arrow remained fixed in 
it, and may be seen there even to this day; and 
thus she saved the life of her servant. And the 
enemy, moved by this prodigy, raised the siege. 

59. There was in Naples a Moor, a slave of 
Don Octavius del Monaco, who, although he 
had often been exhorted to leave his Mahometan 
sect, remained obstinate, but yet never failed 
every evening to keep lighted, at his own ex-
pense, a lamp before an image of Mary which 
was in the house. And he said: "I hope that this 
Lady will grant me some great favor." One night 
the blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him 
he must become a Christian. Still the Turk resist-
ed, but she placed her hand upon his shoulder, 
and said to him: "Now no longer resist, Abel;
[712] be baptized and called Joseph." In the 
morning he immediately went to be instructed, 
and was baptized August 10th, 1648, with eleven 
other Turks. Let it be observed that when the 
heavenly mother appeared to him, after she had 
converted him, she was about to depart, but the 
Moor seized her mantle, saying : "Oh Lady, 
when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let 
me see you." In fact she one day promised him 
this, and when he was in affliction he invoked 
her, and Mary appeared again to him, saying : 
"Have patience," and he was consoled. 

60. A certain parish priest of Asella, named 
Baldwin, became a Dominican, and when he 
was in his novitiate there came to him the temp- 
tation that he could do greater good in the 
world in his parish, and he resolved to return. 
But going to take his leave of the altar of the 
Rosary, Mary appeared to him with two vessels 
of wine ; she gave him to drink of the first, but 
the novice had hardly tasted it, when he turned 
away his mouth, for although the wine was good, 
yet it was full of dregs ; the second he pro- 
nounced good, and free from dregs : "Now," 
said the most holy Virgin, "there is the same 
difference between the life in the world, and the 
life in religion, which is under obedience." 
Baldwin persevered, and died a good religious. 

61. Another novice, also overcome by temp- 
tation, was about to leave his monastery, but 
stopping to say a "Hail Mary" before an image 
[713] of the Virgin, he felt himself nailed, as it were, 
to the floor, from which he could not rise. He re- 
pented, and made a vow of persevering. He then 
recovered his liberty, asked pardon of the master 
of novices, and persevered. 

62. The blessed Clement, a Franciscan, one 
morning delayed going to the common table, 
that he might stop and recite certain accustomed 
devotions to the most holy Virgin; but she 
spoke from her image, and directed him to go 
with the others, because obedience pleased her 
more than all other devotions. 

63. While Angela, a daughter of the King 
of Bohemia, was in a monastery, Mary appeared 
to her, and an angel said to her: "Arise, Angela, 
and fly to Jerusalem, for your father wishes to 
give you in marriage to the prince of Hungary." 
The devout virgin immediately set on her jour- 
ney, and again the heavenly mother appeared to 
her and encouraged her to continue her journey. 
She was received in Jerusalem among the Car- 
melites, and afterwards was commanded by the 
blessed Virgin herself to return to her own 
country, where she lived a holy life till her 

64. St. Gregory relates that there was a 
young woman named Musa, who had great de- 
votion to the mother of God; but being, through 
the evil example of her companions, in danger 
of losing her innocence, one day Mary appeared 
to her with many saints, and said to her: "Musa, 
[714] do you too wish to be one of these? " Musa 
answered, "Yes;" and Mary added: "Withdraw 
from your companions, and prepare, for in one 
month from now you shall come with me." 
Musa retired from her companions, and related 
the vision. On the thirtieth day she was at the 
point of death, and the most holy Virgin again 
appeared to her and called her. She answered: 
"Behold, Lady, I come," and sweetly expired. 

65. Anna Caterina Gonzaga was married to 
Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria, but her hus- 
band dying, she entered the religious order of the 
Servites, and had a crown made, on the globes of 
which were carved the sorrows of the Virgin. 
She said that for this crown she renounced all 
the other crowns of earth; and, in fact, refused 
marriage with the Emperor Rodolph II When 
she heard that her younger sister had been 
crowned empress, she said: "Let my sister enjoy 
her imperial crown; for these garments with 
which Mary my queen has clothed me are to me 
a thousand-fold dearer." The most holy Virgin 
appeared to her many times during her life, and 
at last this good religious died a holy death. 

66. A young clerical student playing one 
day at ball with other young men, and fearing 
he should lose a ring in his play, which had been 
given him by a lady, he placed it on the finger 
of an image of Mary which was near; and he 
immediately felt impelled to make a promise to 
the Virgin to quit the world and choose her 
for his spouse. He made the promise, and Mary 
[715] pressed his finger in token that she accepted 
it. But after some time he wished to marry another, 
and Mary appeared to him and reproached him 
for his infidelity; wherefore he fled into a desert 
and led to the last a holy life. 

67. About the year 850, Berengarius, Bishop 
of Verdun, in Lorraine, having entered a church 
where a certain priest named Bernerio was say- 
ing the office of Mary prostrate before the choir, 
stumbled against him, and in his vexation struck 
him with his foot. In the night the most holy 
Virgin appeared to him, and said: How is it 
that you struck with your foot my servant who 
was engaged in praising me? Because I love 
you," she added, "you must pay the penalty." 
Then his leg became withered, but he lived and 
died a saint; and after many years his body, ex- 
cept that leg, remained uncorrupted. 

68. A young man who was left wealthy at the 
death of his parents, by play and dissipation with 
his friends, lost all that he had, but always pre- 
served his chastity. An uncle, who found him 
reduced to such poverty by his vices, exhorted 
him to say every day a part of the Rosary, prom- 
ising him that if he would persevere in this de 
votion he would procure for him a good mar- 
riage. The youth persevered, and having amend- 
ed his life, he was married. On the evening of 
his nuptials he rose from the table to go and 
recite his Rosary, and when he had finished it, 
Mary appeared to him and said: Now I will re- 
ward you for the honor you have paid me: I do 
[716] not wish that you should lose your chastity; 
in three days you shall die, and shall come to me 
in paradise. And this really happened, for immed-
iately a fever attacked him. He related the vision, 
and on the third day died in perfect peace. 

69. The devout author of the book in honor 
of the most holy Rosary, entitled, "The Secret 
of every Grace," relates that St. Vincent Ferrer 
once said to a man dying in despair: "Why will 
you ruin yourself when Jesus Christ wishes to 
save you?" And he answered, that in spite of 
Christ he would be damned. The saint replied: 
"And you, in spite of yourself, shall be saved." 
He began to recite the Rosary with the persons 
of the house, and behold, the sick man asked to 
make his confession, made it weeping, and then 

70. The same author also relates that a poor 
woman, who was buried by an earthquake under 
the ruins of a house, was found alive and unin- 
jured, with her children in her arms, by some 
persons who were employed by a priest to remove 
the stones. When she was asked what devotion 
she had practised, she said she had never failed 
to say the Rosary and visit a chapel of the most 
holy Mary. 

71. He also relates that another woman who 
led a wicked life because she thought it the only 
means by which she could gain a livelihood was 
counseled to recommend herself to Mary by say- 
ing the Rosary; she did so, and behold one night 
[717] the Blessed Mother appeared and said to her: 
"Quit your sinful life: as for your support, trust 
in me, and I will think of that." The next morn- 
ing she went to confession, and Mary most holy 
provided for her wants. 

72. A person of impure life who had not the 
courage to quit his sins, began to say the Ro- 
sary, and was delivered from his vices. 

73. Another person who maintained a sinful 
friendship was seized with abhorrence of his 
sin by saying the Rosary. He yielded again to 
temptation, but by means of the Rosary finally 
freed himself from it. 

74. A good priest who was attending a wom- 
an on her death-bed, who bitterly hated her hus- 
band, not knowing by what means to convert 
her, withdrew to say the Rosary, and at the last 
moment that woman saw her sinfulness, repent 
ed, and forgave her husband. 

75. Finally, the same author relates, that once 
making a mission to the convicts in the galleys 
of Naples, he found some who obstinately refus- 
ed to make their confession. He suggested to 
them that at least they should have themselves 
enrolled in the confraternity of the Rosary, and 
begin to recite it. They consented to do so, and 
they had no sooner recited one than they desir- 
ed to make their confession, and did so, the first 
time for many years. These modern examples 
serve to revive our confidence in Mary, seeing 
that she is at the present time the same that she 
always has been towards those who have recourse 
to her. 

[718] 76. St. Gregory relates (Dial. Bk. 1, ch. 9) 
that a holy Bishop of Ferento was from childhood 
devoted to relieving the poor. It happened one day 
that a certain priest, his nephew, sold a horse for 
ten crowns of gold, and took the money and lock-
ed it up. The bishop not having anything to give 
when some poor persons came to beg of him, 
broke open the chest and distributed the money 
to them. His nephew made such a disturbance 
when he discovered it, that the holy prelate, not 
knowing what to do, went for help to a church 
dedicated to Mary. When behold, he saw ten 
crowns lying on the drapery of the statue; he 
took them and gave them to his nephew. 

77. A Lutheran lady of Augsburg in Germany, 
who was a very obstinate heretic, happening 
to pass one day a small Catholic chapel, went in 
through curiosity. She saw there an image of 
Mary with the infant Jesus in her arms, and 
felt moved to make an offering to it. She accord- 
ingly went home, took a silk cloth, and brought 
it to the altar of the Virgin. When she had 
returned home the most holy Virgin enlightened 
her to see the errors of her sect, and she went 
immediately to seek some Catholics, abjured 
heresy, and was converted to God. 

78. In the city of Cesena there lived two 
very bad men who were friends. One of them, 
named Bartholomew, in the midst of all his vi- 
ces practised the devotion of reciting everyday 
the "Stabat Mater" in honor of the sorrowful 
Mary. Once when he was repeating this hymn 
[719] Bartholomew had a vision, in which he 
seemed to stand with his sinful companion in a 
lake of fire, and saw the most holy Virgin, moved 
to pity, offer her hand and take him from the 
flames. She directed him to seek pardon from 
Jesus Christ, who showed himself willing to par- 
don him through the prayers of his mother. 
The vision ended, and Bartholomew at the 
moment heard the report that his friend had 
been mortally wounded and was dead. Then he 
knew the truth of the vision, and quitting the 
world, entered the order of Capuchins, where he 
led a most austere life, and died in the fame of 

79. The blessed Jerome, founder of the Som-
maschian Fathers, being governor of a cer 
tain place, was taken by the enemy, and con- 
fined in the dungeon of a tower. He recom- 
mended himself to Mary, and made a vow to 
make a pilgrimage to Treviso in her honor, if 
she would rescue him. Then the most holy 
Virgin appeared to him surrounded by a great 
light, and with her own hands undid his chains, 
and gave him the keys of the prison. He fled 
from the prison, and, setting out for Treviso to 
fulfil his vow, he found himself immediately 
surrounded by the enemy. Again he had re- 
course to his deliverer, and she again appeared 
to him, took him by the hand, and led him safe- 
ly through the midst of his enemies, accompany 
ing him even to the gates of Treviso, where she 
disappeared. He made the visit, deposited his 
[720] chains at the foot of the altar of Mary, and 
then devoted himself to a holy life, by which he 
has merited recently to be ranked by the holy 
Church among the number of the blessed. 

80. A priest who had a special devotion to 
the sorrows of Mary often remained alone in a 
chapel to commiserate the sorrows of his Lady, 
and, moved by compassion, was accustomed 
with a little cloth to wipe, as it were, the tears 
of a statue of the sorrowful Virgin which was 
in that place. Now this good priest, in a severe 
illness, when he was given up by his physicians, 
and was going to breathe his last, saw a beauti- 
ful lady by his side, who consoled him with her 
words, and with a handkerchief gently wiped 
the sweat from his brow, and with this cured 
him. When he found himself well, he said: 
"But, my Lady, who are you who practice 
such charity towards me?" "I am she," an- 
swered Mary, "whose tears you have so often 
dried," and she disappeared. 

81. A noble lady, who had an only son, was 
informed one day that he was killed, and that 
his murderer had by chance taken refuge in her 
own palace; but when she called to mind that 
Mary pardoned the executioners of her Son, she 
wished also to pardon that criminal for love of 
the sorrowful Mary; and not only did she par- 
don him, but provided him with a horse, money, 
and clothes, that he might make his escape. 
Then her son appeared to her, and told her that 
he was saved, and that for her generous act 
[721] done towards his enemy, the heavenly mo-
ther had delivered him from purgatory, where he 
should otherwise have had to suffer for a long 
time, but that he was then already entering 

82. The blessed Bionda performed a similar 
heroic act. Some enemies also killed her only 
son, though he was innocent, solely by reason 
of the hatred they bore to his father, who was 
dead; and with unheard-of cruelty gave the 
heart of the murdered youth to his mother to 
eat. Now she, according to the example of the 
most holy Mary, began to pray for her son's mur- 
derers, and to do them all the good she could. 
These acts so pleased the heavenly mother, that 
she called her to join the third order of the Ser- 
vites, where she merited to lead so holy a life, 
that both before and after her death many 
miracles were performed through her. 

83. St. Thomas of Canterbury, when he was 
a young man, found himself one day in conver- 
sation with several other youths, each of whom 
boasted of some foolish love affair. The holy 
youth declared that he, too, loved a great lady, 
and was beloved by her, meaning the most holy 
Virgin. Afterwards, he felt some remorse at 
having made this boast; but behold, Mary ap- 
peared to him in his trouble, and with a gra- 
cious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do 
you fear? You had reason to say that you loved 
me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure 
your companions of this, and as a pledge of the 
[722] love I bear you, show them this gift that I 
make you." The gift was a small box, containing 
a chasuble, of a blood-red color, as a sign that 
Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained 
for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, 
which indeed happened, for he was first made 
priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in 
England, where he was at one time persecuted 
by the king, and fled to the Cistercian monas-
tery at Pontignac, in France. While he was there, 
wishing one day to mend his hair-cloth shirt that 
he usually wore, which was ripped, and not being 
able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to 
him, and, with especial kindness, took the hair-
cloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should 
be done. After this he returned to Canterbury, 
and died a martyr, having been put to death on 
account of his zeal for the Church. 

84. A young woman in the Papal States, who 
was very devout towards Mary, met in a certain 
place a chief of the bandits. Fearing some out-
rage, she implored him, for love of the most holy 
Virgin, not to molest her. "Do not fear," he 
answered, "for you have prayed me in the name 
of the mother of God; and I only ask you to re- 
commend me to her." And, in fact, he accom-
panied her himself along the road to a place 
of safety. The following night Mary appeared 
in a dream to the bandit, and thanking him for 
the act he had performed for love of her, told 
him she would remember it, and would one day 
[723] reward him. The robber, at length, was ar-
rested, and condemned to death; but behold, the 
night previous to his execution, the blessed Vir- 
gin visited him again in a dream, and first asked 
him: "Do you know who I am?" He answered, 
"It seems to me I have seen you before." "I am 
the Virgin Mary," she continued, "who have 
come to reward you for what you have done for 
me. You will die tomorrow, but you will die 
with so much contrition that you will come at 
once to paradise." The convict awoke, and felt 
such contrition for his sins that he began to 
weep bitterly, all the while giving thanks aloud 
to our blessed Lady. He sent immediately for 
a confessor, to whom he made his confession 
with many tears, relating the vision he had seen, 
and begged him to make public this grace that 
had been bestowed on him by Mary. He went 
joyfully to execution, after which, as it is relat- 
ed, his countenance was so peaceful and happy, 
that all who saw him believed that the promise 
of the heavenly mother was fulfilled. 

85. The blessed Joachim Piccolomini, who 
had a very great devotion to Mary, even from 
childhood, used to visit three times a day an 
image of the sorrowful mother, which was in a 
neighboring church, and abstained from all food 
on Saturday in her honor. Moreover, he rose 
at midnight to meditate upon her sorrows. But 
let us see how Mary rewarded him. At first 
she appeared to him when he was young, and 
directed him to enter into religion in the order 
[724] of her Servants, which he did. Towards the 
close of his life, she again appeared to him, with 
two crowns in her hand : one of rubies, as the 
reward of the compassion he had cherished for 
her sorrows; and the other of pearls, as the reward 
of his chastity which he had consecrated to her. 
Finally, at death she appeared to him again, 
when he asked of her the favor to die on the 
day on which Jesus Christ died, and the most 
holy Virgin consoled him by telling him : "Make 
ready now, for tomorrow (Friday) you will 
die suddenly, as you desire, and tomorrow you 
shall be with me in paradise." And thus it hap- 
pened, for while they were chanting in the 
church the passion according to St. John, at the 
words : There stood near the cross of Jesus his 
mother : "Stabat juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus," 
he was attacked with the faintness of death; 
at the words : And bowing his head he gave 
up his spirit:  "Et inclinato capite tradidit 
spiritum," this blessed one also gave up his 
spirit to God; and at the same moment the 
church was filled with a great splendor, and 
a most sweet fragrance. 

86. Father Alphonso Salmerone, of the Society 
of Jesus, being a most devout servant of the 
blessed Virgin, died saying : "To pardise, to 
paradise; blessed be the hour that I have served 
Mary! Blessed the sermons, the toils, the thoughts 
that I have had for you, oh my Lady! To paradise." 

87. A youth named Guido, who wished to join
[725] the order of Camaldoli, was presented to 
St. Romuald by the prince, his father, whose 
name was Farnulf. The holy founder received 
him with pleasure. One day Mary appeared to 
this good youth, her servant, with the infant 
Jesus in her arms. Esteeming himself unworthy 
of such a favor, he stood trembling, but the heav- 
enly mother drawing near to him, said : "Why- 
do you doubt? What do you fear, Guido? I 
am the mother of God, this is my son Jesus, who 
wishes to come to you;" and saying this, she 
placed him in his arms. Guido had not been 
three years in religion when he fell dangerously 
ill. St. Romuald saw the poor youth writhing 
and trembling, and heard him saying : "Oh 
Father, do you see all the Moors in this cell"? 
"My son," said the saint to him, "do you remem- 
ber any thing you have not confessed?" "Yes, 
Father," he answered, " I remember having dis- 
obeyed the prior, by not picking up certain 
brooms, and now I confess it." St. Romuald 
absolved him, and then the scene changed; the 
devils fled, and the Virgin again appeared with 
Jesus, at the sight of whom Guido died in per- 
fect peace.1 

88. A Cistercian nun in Toledo, called Mary, 
being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother 
appeared to her, and Mary said to her: "Oh 
Lady, the favor you do me of visiting me em- 
boldens me to ask you another favor, namely, 
that I may die at the same hour that you died 
and entered into heaven. "Yes," answered 
[726] Mary. "I will satisfy you; you shall die at 
that hour, and you shall hear the songs and 
praises with which the blessed accompanied my 
entrance into heaven; and now prepare." When 
she had said this she disappeared. The religious 
who heard the nun talking to herself, believed 
her wandering in mind, but she related to them 
the vision, and the promised grace, and awaited 
the desired hour; and when she knew it had ar- 
rived, by the striking of the clock (the writer 
does not tell us what hour it was), she said: 
"Behold, the predicted hour has come; I hear 
the music of the angels; at this hour my queen 
ascended into heaven; rest in peace, for I am 
going now to see her;" and saying this she expir- 
ed, while her eyes became bright as stars, and 
her face glowed with a beautiful color. 

89. In the city of Sens, in France, there lived 
towards the eighth century St. Opportuna, the 
daughter of a prince of royal blood. This holy 
virgin, who had a great devotion to Mary, be- 
came a religious in a neighboring monastery, 
and being at the point of death, she saw St. Ce- 
cilia and St. Lucia standing beside her in the 
dawn of the morning. "My sisters, be welcome, 
she said to them; "what message do you bring 
me from my queen?" And they answered: 
"She is waiting for you in paradise." After 
this the devil appeared to her, and the saint 
boldly sent him away, saying: "Brute beast, 
what have you  to do with me who am the ser- 
vant of Jesus? " The hour of her death, which 
[727] she herself had predicted, having arrived, 
after receiving the holy viaticum, she turned tow- 
ards the door, and said: "Behold the mother 
of God who comes to take me. Sisters, I com- 
mend you to her. Adieu, we shall see each oth- 
er no more." Thus saying, she raised her arms, 
as if to embrace her Lady, and gently expired. 


In India a young man who was just about to
[559] leave his apartment in order to commit 
sin, heard a voice saying: "Stop, where are you 
going? He turned around and saw an image, in 
relief, of the sorrowful Mary, who drew out the 
sword which was in her breast, and said to him: 
"Take this dagger and pierce my heart rather 
than wound my Son with this sin." At the sound 
of these words the youth prostrated himself on 
the ground, and with deep contrition, bursting 
into tears, he asked and obtained from God and 
the Virgin pardon of his sin.

A young man in Perugia once promised the 
devil that if he would help him to commit a sin- 
ful act which he desired to do, he would give 
him his soul; and he gave him a writing to that 
effect, signed with his blood. The evil deed was 
committed, and the devil demanded the perfor- 
mance of the promise. He led the young man to 
a well, and threatened to take him body and soul 
[576] to hell if he would not cast himself into it. The 
wretched youth, thinking that it would be impos- 
sible for him to escape from his enemy, climbed the 
well-side in order to cast himself into it, but terri- 
fied at the yought of death, he said to the devil 
that he had not the courage to throw himself in, 
and that, if he wished to see him dead, he himself 
should thrust him in. The young man wore 
about his neck the scapular of the sorrowing 
Mary; and the devil said to him: "Take off that 
scapular, and I will thrust you in." But the youth, 
seeing the protection which the Mother of God
still gave him through that scapular, refused to 
take it off, and after a great deal of altercation, 
the devil departed in confusion. The sinner re- 
pented, and grateful to his sorrowful mother, 
went to thank her, and presented a picture of 
this case, as an offering, at her altar in the new 
church of Santa Maria, in Perugia.